Cole Bennett‘s Lyrical Lemonade compilation All Is Yellow is as much a testament to the music video creator’s cachet within the industry as it is a celebration of his talent. Frankly, it’s not quite clear what Bennett’s role in the project is; he doesn’t rap, and all of the songs on the album have a number of producers. He’s a DJ Khaled-adjacent assembler of MCs, and that’s where All Is Yellow shines.
It’s a posse cut extended across an entire album, with some predictable and many unpredictable collaborations yielding pleasant enough results. Is this in any way a game changer? No. Does it redefine what Cole Bennett does in the rap industry? Again, no. But this collection of songs shows that while Bennett’s ear might not be on par with his eye, it’s still better than most.
Sometimes, the artists Bennett brings together are perplexing, while other ideas are hugely successful. There’s no need for Sheck Wes, Ski Mask The Slump God, and JID to be on “Fly Away.” The song goes nowhere fast, with Sheck’s chorus the most intriguing part of the song and it disappears far too quickly. Ski Mask brings his D+ game, rapping: “This shit light, Thomas Edison.” One of the big issues with some of the songs on the album is the lack of cohesion between artists. It’d make sense for JID to hop on a track with another lyrical dynamo like Cordae, but his talent only highlights the differences in the way he and Ski Mask rap.
These moments are more frequent than genuine moments of inspiration. “Hello There,” which features Corbin, Lil Tracy, and Black Kray features a lazy interpolation of Blink-182, the sort of idea that’s fun to mess with in the studio but should have been left on the cutting room floor. “With the Fish” features $not and 6 Dogs, neither of whom seem equally thrilled to be there.
There are high points, though. Chief Keef and Lil Yachty are enticing together on “Say Ya Grace,” and BabyTron and G Herbo sound like they’re having a ton of fun on “Equilibrium.” On “Stop Giving Me Advice,”Jack Harlow is not only tolerable but enjoyable as he stunts on overzealous advisors alongside UK rapper Dave.
The album’s most bloated guestlist appears on “First Night,” but the assemblage of personalities makes the results fun, albeit a bit messy. Juicy J and Denzel Curry rapping together is an inspired collab, and while Teezo Touchdown and Cochise turn in ambivalent performances, Lil B more than makes up for this lackadaisical effort.
The one solo track comes from Eminem, who shows that he can still rap at an elite level on “Doomsday Pt. 2.” Then on its predecessor, “Doomsday,” which samples Eminem’s 1999 hit “Role Model,” Cordae and the late Juice WRLD deliver one of the most impressive songs on the record, and it recontextualizes Juice as a very competent rapper.
That’s what the entire album should have been: putting impressive artists into interesting scenarios and seeing what they do. Too often, though, the songs are just clichés of pastiche styles. There are plenty of good moments on the project, but these high points only reveal how much more interesting All Is Yellow could have been.
RELEASE DATE: January 26, 2024
RECORD LABEL: Lyrical Lemonade/Def Jam
Listen to All Is Yellow below: